Australia beats Belarus 3-2 to face France in Fed Cup final

FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, March 30, 2019, Ashleigh Barty of Australia, returns to Carolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, during the singles final of the Miami Open tennis tournament, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Barty beat doubles partner Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-6 (2), 6-3 to level their Fed Cup semifinal at 1-1, at Pat Rafter Arena, Australia, on Saturday April 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, FILE)

Australia has advanced to the Fed Cup final after the doubles team of Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur beat Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-5, 3-6, 6-2

BRISBANE, Australia — Australia advanced to the Fed Cup final for the first time in more than a quarter century after Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur beat Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 in a decisive doubles match Sunday.

Australia will play in the final for the first time since 1993, and will face France, which beat Romania 3-2 on clay at Rouen in the other semifinal.

Australia will host the Nov. 9-10 final.

Earlier Sunday, Azarenka beat Stosur in the second reverse singles 6-1, 6-1 in 59 minutes to even the match at 2-2 on a hard court at Pat Rafter Arena.

In the second set, Azarenka went ahead 3-1 when Stosur double-faulted to set up break point.

Azarenka's win was met with loud cheers from the small but noisy group of Belarusian fans waving their country's red and green flag.

In the day's opening match, Barty beat Sabalenka 6-2, 6-2 to give Australia a 2-1 lead.

Barty is 20-3 in singles in 2019 and won the two-week Miami tournament. She made it to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and also won all three matches she played — two singles and doubles — in helping Australia beat the United States 3-2 in the previous round of the Fed Cup.

"I feel fortunate ... to have the stage in April and we'll get to share it again in November," Barty said. "I don't remember anyone talking about just making the final and I think that's a good thing."

On the first day, Barty beat regular doubles partner Azarenka 7-6 (2), 6-3 after Sabalenka had given Belarus a 1-0 lead with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 win over Stosur.

Barty's win Saturday ended Azarenka's 13-match winning streak in the Fed Cup.

It was the first Fed Cup meeting between the countries.

___

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Related News

Chinese sportswear brand makes inroads in tennis...

Jan 20, 2017

Svetlana Kuznetsova has a different look than most tennis players

Venus focused on tennis, not age, in record 73rd...

Jan 20, 2017

One could never accuse Venus Williams of being sensitive about her age

Nadal holds off Zverev to reach 4th round at...

Jan 21, 2017

Rafael Nadal had a good, hard look at the future before pulling a few tricks from his past to hold...

Bryan brothers announce retirement from Davis Cup...

Jan 22, 2017

Bob and Mike Bryan are retiring from playing Davis Cup for the United States after 14 years with...

Tough at the top: Murray, Kerber make 4th-round...

Jan 22, 2017

It was tough at the top for Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open, with both the...

Matthew Dellavedova, tennis player? Nope, it's...

Jan 22, 2017

Basketball fans may have done a double take upon seeing the Australian Open schedule on Sunday:...

NHL Livescore